Meadowbrook Marsh (Sandusky Bay Loop)
Meadowbrook Marsh is an acquisition by Danbury Township, and the township has worked hard to make the site accessible for birders and outdoor enthusiasts. This approximately 190-acre parcel features wetlands and large trees, and can be a great spot for migrant songbirds. Various herons and waterfowl use the marsh and open water areas. As Meadowbrook Marsh is located along a major migratory corridor for both waterbirds and songbirds, nearly anything could show up here.
57 - Meadowbrook Marsh
8577 E. Bayshore Road (½-mile W. of Dempsey Access, ¼-mile east of South Englebeck Rd.)
Marblehead, OH 43440
Open daily, dawn until dusk
From State Rte. 2 and Sandusky Bay, exit at State Rte. 269 and proceed north. Turn east onto the first road, which is East Bayshore Rd. Proceed for about three and a half miles; entrance is on left.
What to Look For
The open marsh often harbors good numbers of waterfowl in migration, especially March and April. Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets are fixtures for most of the year, and Green Herons nest here and are often seen. More unusual wading birds such as Black-crowned Night-Heron and American Bittern appear on occasion. The surrounding brushlands and young woods can be fantastic for migrant songbirds, including warblers, flycatchers and thrushes. October brings scores of sparrows, including many Fox, Lincoln’s, White-crowned, and White-throated sparrows.
The diversity of habitats at Meadowbrook Marsh create wonderful butterfly habitat, and a summer or fall trip can net many species. The marsh supports numerous species of dragonflies. A rare plant, deer’s-tongue arrowhead (Sagittaria rigida), also occurs here.
About the Sandusky Bay Loop
The massive Sandusky Bay is the most conspicuous bay on Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. State Route 2 passes over the bay via a bridge that is over 2.5 miles in length, and is crossed by many of the nearly 7 million visitors each year. This region of Lake Erie is renowned for its marshes and the tremendous numbers of waterfowl that occur in migration. Historically, vast wet prairies occurred, remnants of which still exist.
The most prominent bridge along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline is the State Route 2 span over massive Sandusky Bay. Historically, the bay was ringed with mixed-emergent marshes and prairie wetlands, most of which have been destroyed. However, large marshlands are still protected and provide some of the most important bird habitat along Lake Erie. Sandusky Bay and vicinity is a very important stopover area for migratory waterfowl. The total species list for this loop is 313, and three of them – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Magnificent Frigatebird, and Ancient Murrelet – have only been found in this region.
What To Look For
The massive Sandusky Bay is the most conspicuous bay on Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline. State Route 2 passes over the bay via a bridge that is over 2.5 miles in length, and is crossed by many of the nearly 7 million visitors that come to the Sandusky Bay region each year. This region of Lake Erie is renowned for its marshes and the tremendous numbers of waterfowl that occur in migration. Historically, vast wet prairies occurred, especially along the southern reaches of Sandusky Bay. While most of these prairies have been lost, remnants still exist, such as Resthaven Wildlife Area.
The total species list for this loop is 313, and three of them—Blackbellied Whistling-Duck, Magnificent Frigatebird, and Ancient Murrelet— have only been found in this region. Many other rare birds have been seen here, including Eurasian Wigeon, Tricolored Heron, Western Tanager, and White-faced Ibis.
The largest remaining marshes in Ohio buffer the western end of Lake Erie. In addition to supporting tremendous numbers and diversity of birds, these wetlands also harbor many other animals and an impressive diversity of plants. Species of plants that are now threatened or endangered, such as wild rice and bullhead-lily, can still be found. Two interesting reptiles that can be found are the Blanding’s turtle and Eastern fox snake, both of which are largely confined to the western Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio. Large numbers of dragonflies of many species live in the marshes, and occasionally rare migrant dragonflies are found, such as the striped saddlebags.
8577 E. Bayshore Road, Marblehead, OH 43440